I just came from SXSW in Austin TX. If you aren’t familiar, it is a film, music, and interactive festival. There were a couple films I worked on in the festival so I was excited to go and see them premier.
One is a short USC thesis doc that premiered at the edu portion of the festival. (SXSWedu is an educational festival that happens before SXSW proper). The other is a web series MISS MUSTARD GLADE that was sponsored by Subway (the sandwich place) and can be found on My Damn Channel; the mini web series was premiered during the festival. I confess I ate more Subway pizzas during the fest (they gave them out for free) then I ever plan on eating again in my life!
But the picture above, and the link below, takes you to the website of my favorite movie from the festival: What We Do In the Shadows. This mockumentary was absolutely fantastic. I honestly can’t think of any way that the film could have been better. It’s about a bunch of vamps who are flat mates and some of the events they go through. It’s brilliant.
The director was at the screening and we had a Q&A afterwards with both the director and one of the vamps via skype. The actor was in character and we were able to ask his vamp self questions. The director introduced the film as a documentary, and refused to entertain any questions as if it were not factual. It was humorous to watch when certain audience members tried to ask the usual stuffy film questions and were rejected by the director. If you get a chance to see the film, you really should check it out. You won’t be disappointed!
I just watched a documentary, “The Ivory Tower” and it focused on higher education, the cost of student loans, and alternatives to the traditional four year degree plan. What was really amazing about this doc (besides how well it was produced, shot, and edited) was how many options besides amassing large amounts of student loans there were, and how many schools are looking at other ways to get information to the public besides the typical lecture/student dynamic.
Link to director interview
The Cooper Union was a free art and design school in New York until early this year. The current President just instituted tuition to pay for debts the school took on by overbuilding, and in response the students had a summer long protest and are still fighting to return Cooper Union to a free education.
Students of Cooper Union Website
It is an amazing and powerful story– and one that really begs whether education is a right or a privilege. And if it is a privilege, why is it only for the rich and those able to afford it? Does continuing the class system, and potentially making it more dynamic still make it a privilege? Des a the massive student loan taken on by the poor, middle class, and those unable to fully afford college really make life better? Does the massive student debt actually give you more money in your life when you pay that debt balance until you die? When you are contacted by creditors whether you can afford it or not, and there is no way to declare bankruptcy?
I think it’s time for more people to ask questions and look at solutions when we have 1 trillion dollars of student loan debt, and over half of the students loans are in deferment or default.
On Wednesday night I had the privilege to watch a documentary about John Milius- it was a fascinating look at this influential man’s life that not only entertained throughout the film, but had emotional depth and heart.
I had heard of almost all Milius’s work, but did not know he was the man behind the scripts. A classmate of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Milius’s writing ability is in many of their movies, and they all often worked together. Having a husband at USC it makes me wonder if someday there will be docs made about him or his classmates!
I highly recommend Milius for the production value, fascinating interviews, and pieces of history.
Hollywood Reporter Review